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    If you are like me, then you are anticipating the bird seasons like a child pacing his bedroom floor on Christmas Eve. Depending on the location of where you live and when your favorite upland bird hunting season gets underway, you’ll be unwrapping your presents any day now.

    I hope you are gearing up for the seasons to come as I am. Gearing up both with your excitement and if you need to get new gear. Plus, lots of changes to hunting seasons and rules as well as proposals to open more land to the public were on the table as we went to press. Please make sure you check with the hunting/natural resources department in your state to make sure you have all the latest updates.

    Speaking of updates, our regular contributor Tim Flanigan reports that changes have been made to the Harvest Information Program (HIP) questionnaire hunters must fill out when purchasing their licenses if they intend to hunt migratory birds. Basically in the past license dealers would fill out the HIP information at the point of sale. But too many of them entered inaccurate information. So now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requiring hunters to add the information on their own.

    Speaking of Tim, he and our other stalwarts John Felsher and Jeff Nedwick have beaten the brush for the last several months to bring to you this edition of “The Scout,” our annual outlook of what bird conditions you might expect if you bird hunt in the Lower 48.

    Finally, we are always proud and happy when our contributors are awarded for their efforts. Last spring, The Northwest Writer’s Association honored Alan Liere in its annual Excellence in Craft contest. He was presented with several awards in both the newspaper and magazine categories. Among those was a first place in the hunting category for his article “The First Bird After” (Spring 2020), his story of loss and redemption after he lost his log home to a house fire. Alan also took a second place for “Sleeping with the Princess” (Winter 2020). Congratulations, Alan, and keep up the good work.

    We hope you’ll find something equally rewarding to read in this latest issue.

     JOHN C. GOSSELIN, Publisher


    Wolfe Publishing Group